“Give me Goodwood on a summer’s day and you can keep the rest,” goes Roy Salvadori’s famous old saying. Hard to argue after a sun-kissed Revival – but as wonderful as it was, the meeting wasn’t the only highlight of a packed weekend of motorsport that featured dramatic action at home and abroad.
Seven motorsport stars of the weekend – away from Goodwood
If you’re attention has (understandably) been focused solely on Sussex, here’s a quick round-up of what else went on this past weekend – and which racing aces will have woken up on Monday with big smiles on their faces.
Rory Butcher and Jake Hill
There was joy for local hero Rory Butcher, who won the first of three British Touring Car Championship races at Knockhill on Sunday after his career-first pole position the day before.
Then series irregular Jake Hill, who has worked so hard to establish himself in the BTCC in recent years, finally scored his first victory in the series in the final race of the day – or at least the first victory he will keep.
Hill won the reverse-grid race at Oulton Park back in June, only to be stripped of the result for contact with a rival. But this time the popular racer kept his win, scored from pole position with only the minimum of success ballast, which also marks the first for an Audi in the BTCC since 2014.
He’s been the class of the DTM field this year, so it was no great surprise that Audi’s René Rast was crowned as champion at the Nürburgring on Sunday, for the second time.
Rast won from pole position on Saturday, then confirmed his title with a third place on Sunday to join Mattias Ekstrom, Timo Scheider, Marco Wittmann and Gary Paffett as a double DTM champion. Only legends Klaus Ludwig and Bernd Schneider have won more than two crowns in Germany’s high-profile tin-top series.
Briton Jamie Green scored a welcome victory at the ’Ring on Sunday, as Audi dominated, his first since the final race of 2017.
“Some day I must retire,” chuckled 50-year-old French touring car legend Muller after securing two wins out of three races, as the World Touring Car Cup reconvened in Ningbo, China after a long summer break.
Muller’s double success for Lynk & Co, the Chinese manufacturer based close to the circuit, wasn’t without controversy. A pre-weekend change to the Balance of Performance rules the series runs by appeared to favour the Cyan Racing-run cars, and seemed awfully well timed given where the races were taking place. The move angered rivals in the paddock, including reigning champion and fellow veteran Gabriele Tarquini who spoke out in the post-event press conference.
But Muller was defiant his success was purely down to hard work from his team and hit back at his old friend and rival. His efforts, which also included a podium finish in the reverse-grid second race, marked a record weekend points haul for the series – and it’s launched him right into the thick of the title hunt. Hyundai’s Norbert Michelisz leads from Honda’s Esteban Guerrieri, but old master Muller is now just 17 points from the top spot with three more meetings to go.
A fifth world touring car title would only cement his status as the world’s greatest tin-top star of this – and perhaps any – era.
Rookie Fabio Quartararo should be the man on our list of big weekend winners, but his hopes of a breakthrough first MotoGP win were scuppered by motorcycle racing’s main man – Marc Marquez.
The Petronas Yamaha rider led all the way, only for Marquez to spoil the party on the last lap. The pair enjoyed a great scrap, with Marquez just prevailing for a victory that takes him another step closer to a sixth world title – at the age of just 26.
Quartararo’s day will surely come. But Marquez is the untouchable king on two wheels and is well on the way to becoming MotoGP’s GOAT – Greatest Of All Time…
In the World Rally Championship, Sébastien Ogier is bidding to go one better than Marquez as he chases not only his seventh world title, but also his seventh in consecutive years. What an achievement that would be, especially as this time it would be with Citroën.
Ogier’s previous titles came with Volkswagen and M-Sport’s Ford Fiestas, so to win again with a third manufacturer would arguably surpass the achievements of Citroën’s nine-time champ Sébastien Loeb.
But Ogier still has his work cut out. His win on Rally Turkey on Sunday marked his third of the season, but he’s 17 points down on Toyota’s Estonian sensation Ott Tanak, who is chasing his first title. An electrical problem forced Tanak to retire from the rally on Saturday to harm his title hopes – but his points advantage means Ogier will have to be at his very best to overhaul the sport’s bright young star over the rest of the season to keep his phenomenal title run going.
Closer to home, Jonny Adam secured his fourth British GT title (each with different co-drivers) at Donington Park – but not without an ingredient of controversy.
Sharing with Graham Davidson, Adam was pushed wide at the Old Hairpin by Dennis Lind’s Lamborghini, an incident that cost the Aston Martin the result required to secure the title. Instead, Jonny Cocker and Sam De Haan inherited the fourth place they needed to seemingly become champions themselves – only for the stewards to penalise Lind.
That lifted Adam and Davidson to the fifth place they needed to squeeze ahead of Barwell’s Cocker and De Haan by just 2.5 points. Not the ideal way to win a title, but that’s the way it falls sometimes in the fiercely competitive world of motorsport.
Photography courtesy of Motorsport Images.
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